Tag Archives | beadalon

CHA Winter 2013: Innovations Showcase Products (Part 1)

Each show, CHA holds its Innovations Showcase, which serves as a combination media event and buyer preview. The top 20 entrants in the Innovations Showcase (as pre-determined by  a panel of celebrity media judges) take part in a speed round of presentations to the audience, and then attendees get a few minutes to visit each entrant’s booth around the outer edge of the room to talk to the various manufacturers about their products. (At CHA Winter 2013, Craft Critique’s own editor Nancy Nally was one of the celebrity media judges!)

CHA Winter 2013

Needless to say, we arrived with our cameras and notebooks in hand to get the most information possible in the short amount of time allowed for our readers. Our first stop was to see Julianna C. Hudgins demonstrating her new jewel loom from Beadalon.

Beadalon Jewel Loom by Juliana Hudgins

Beadalon Jewel Loom by Juliana Hudgins

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CHA Jewelry Design: Beadalon

The Craft and Hobby Association show had a great selection of jewelry supply product companies in attendance.   One of the booths we visited at the show was the Beadalon booth.  We got a chance to stop by to see some of the new items they have trending right now in jewelry making.

There was a display of Fernando Dasilva’s jewelry.   He recently wrote a jewelry book called Modern Expressions and was at the show doing book signings.

Another item that caught our eye was the Chain Maille jewelry that is made with their new  “Chain Maille Rings” product line.  They look like jump rings but are made from copper wire and are available in different colors.  The wire is tarnish-resistant which is a must if you are going to make “Chain Maille” jewelry.

They also have a special new mat that is tacky enough to hold the jump rings so they don’t slide around.

The process of making Chain Maille jewelry making has been around for a very long time.  Basically, you use long nose pliers and special jump rings that vary in size.  These jump rings are specifically made for this craft  and the finished designs looked fun to wear.

Lauren Anderson is the designer of these pieces and has been making Chain Maille for years.

What do you think? Ready to go get your Beadalon on?

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Beadalon Spin-N-Bead Loader

Reported by Jenny Barnett Rohrs

The Beadalon Spin-N-Bead Junior is one of those little, low-tech gadgets that you see in the stores, think is kinda cool, and then can’t quite think what you’d do with it. I got to take one of these little goodies home from CHA Summer, and I admit it sat in the box for a while. However, not that I’ve got it out, it’s got my creative juices flowing.

This is what you get in the package- the bead bowl, the spinner base, and a curved needle.

It’s so simple, it’s brilliant. Fill the bowl with your seed beads and place it on the spinner base.

Load your big-eyed needle with your preferred stringing material. You can use beading thread, embroidery floss, flexible beading wire…what ever works with the beads you are working with.

So you take your loaded needle in one hand, give your little bead bowl a spin (just like a top), and angle the curved part of the needle to the curved part of the bowl. Also make sure the hook is going one way and the spinning bowl is going the opposite direction. This is always harder to explain than to show, to take a peek at the video we took at CHA, featuring Wyatt White from Beadalon himself:

Now, there IS a little learning curve to this. You need to practice getting the angle of the needle just right, as well as learning to flick your wrist “up” to keep the beads you’ve loaded on the needle..ahem.. ON the needle so you can push them onto your stringing thread. And you will experience some beads hopping out and scattering on the floor. However, it’s STILL a lot easier than loading a few beads at a time onto a needle by hand.

My kids were watching me do this, and I even let my 8 year-old son take a crack at it! He thought is was fun to do, and it was easy enough for him to master that he wants to make his Christmas gifts with it.

Since I’d been itching to try some bead crochet, I did a single crocheted strand that I turned into an ankle bracelet.

I’m just here to tell you that if I hadn’t had the Spin-n-Bead, there is NO WAY I’d ever hand-string all of those beads for that technique. I can honestly say that this cute little gizmo got me crafting in a whole new way.

I also tested it out using only 20 gauge wire, curving the wire around to make a needle. It also worked great. Wire flowers, anyone?

In sum, this is handy-dandy little tool that would be a great stocking stuffer for a beader or needle worker. Easy and fun enough for a kid to use, I think it’s pretty “craftastic.”


  • Good price point (under $20.00 for the mini version)
  • Low tech & easy to use
  • Portable and fun
  • Saves MAJOR time!


  • Minor learning curve
  • Extra bowls are not available individually- you have to buy a whole new set.
  • Availability- haven’t seen them in big-box stores. Visit your local bead shop and ask for it, or Google it and order on-line.
  • Not good for larger beads, irregular ones, etc. Stick with seed beads and “e”beads for best results.

I’m thinking that I’m going to whip up a few batches of ID badge holders for my kids’ teachers for holiday gifts. What would YOU make with it?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

New from Beadalon: CHA Summer 09

When we walk by a booth, we are drawn in by sparkly things. This was certainly the case when we sauntered by the display of fabulous rings created with a new Beadalon product: stainless steel wrapping wire.

Beadalon is offering stainless as novel option for multiple reasons. Suitable for a novice wire wrapper, it offers a more economical price point for practicing before you invest in Sterling or plated wires. Or perhaps your design aesthetic calls for a more weathered or industrial look. Like other wire-wrapping metals, theirs comes in round, half round, and square. It’s fun to twist the square wire to create different textures, too.

While we were stolling through the booth, another shiny object caught our eye- a Spin-N-Bead bead loader. Ooooh. Sparkly.
It’s not a new product, but it’s new to me; so their rep offered me a quick demo. Who are we to turn that down? Here’s what we saw:

I always love a new gadget, and this one may be on my list. Do you have one? Love it? Let us know what you think!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Beadalon Spiral Maker- New at CHA Summer!

We swung by the Beadalon booth today to ask about the new big things in jewelry making- and our new friend Wyatt White whipped out this little faboo gizmo, the Spiral Maker!
It’s designed to help everyone make perfect wire spirals, which seem to be so “au currant” right now in jewelry design. Here’s their catalog picture:

It works with gauges of wire 20g and smaller, and you can use it with craft or soft metals. I love how you can make exactly the same size spirals- that can be tricky to do. But I have to be honest…it looked complicated. But Wyatt was a sport and agreed to give us our own EXCLUSIVE CHA demo for CraftCritique. Here it is, just for you!

Today’s Sponsor A Muse has offered a special for our readers. Simply enter promo code CHA15 to receive 15% off your order! This promo code will expire 8/9/09 at Midnight PST, so get to shopping!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!